Wellington Wraps Up Kiwi Tri Series
Wellington Wraps Up Kiwi Tri Series
The final round of the .kiwi Tri Series took place in Wellington today, with the highlight being national championship events for Elite U19 triathletes and Paratriathletes.
The U19 races took pride of place with the best young triathletes from around the country assembling at Waitangi Park for the sprint distance nationals on a course that took them on a 750m swim in front of Te Papa, a 3 lap 20km bike ride and a 2 lap run along Oriental Parade.
The U19 men’s race turned into a two way battle between Tayler Reid (Gisborne) and Fynn Thompson (Queenstown) as they distanced themselves from a lead group of 6 once on to the run. The pair ran side by side until Reid made his move in Waitangi Park, with less than 400m to go.
“That was a great race and Fynn made it so hard, he kept surging on the run but I managed to stay with him knowing I had a good sprint for the finish. I made my move once we were in Waitangi Park and managed to hold on.
“Conditions were pretty tough, the wind was very different all round the course, sometimes into our faces and other times behind or across us, you had to concentrate the whole time. A national title is great and continues what has been a good summer for me, next up is the National Schools in my home town of Gisborne so I will get ready for that now and hope to defend my title there.”
Jay Wallwork (Auckland) was third with the top five rounded out by Kyle Smith (Taupo) and Dan Hoy (Auckland) with less than a minute separating first to fifth.
In the U19 women’s race it looked to be a three way battle on the bike with Nicole van der Kaaay (Taupo), Jaimee Leader (Palmerston North) and Elise Salt (Auckland) moving away from the chasers, but van der Kaay suffered a puncture and withdrew, leaving Salt and Leader to battle it out into transition.
Once on the run it was Salt who proved strongest, holding off a fast finishing Josie Clow who ran through a number of athletes to claim second, ahead of Leader in third.
“It is the best I have felt in a long time in all three disciplines so I am happy to take the win today,” said Salt. “When Nicole punctured we were working well together so Jaimee and I knew we had to work hard to stay away so kept working together which was great.
“It has been tough with my running lately, I am just coming back from a foot injury so I felt realy good on that run so can definitely take some things from this and look forward to the future. The swim was quite choppy and the bike was windy at times but also made for a tough race and I like tough races so that was good.”
Five athletes lined up in the National Paratri Champisonships over the sprint distance, with Paralympic swimming star Mary Fisher (Wellington), David Piper (Porirua), Peter (Jack) McSweeney (Tauranga), Russell Watts (Taupo) and Nick Ruane (Wellington) all proving masters of the course and the conditions in a category that continues to grow in numbers each year.
In other racing on the day, Dylan McNeice (Christchurch) took out the men’s .kiwi Trophy Race (1500m swim, 40km bike, 10km run) and Leah Stanley (Cambridge) won the women’s race.
Elsewhere on the day there was racing for the children in the kids 1:2:1, beginners in the 3:9:3 and team racing that included two-time Olympic Games medallist Bevan Docherty. Docherty took time out to race with the CEO of Triathlon New Zealand Craig Waugh and .kiwi’s CFO Angus Richardson in a team event.
“I really enjoyed that, it is great just being here on a day like this and seeing the kids racing and everyone having a great time,” said Docherty. “This is where it all started for me of course so it is nice to be able to put a little back before I head back home to the States.
Also taking part in his first standard distance triathlon was broadcaster and former Black Cap Mark Richardson. The television and radio host enjoyed his day, albeit not the wind.
“That was great although I could have done without the wind out there on the course! I struggled in the swim, that is my weakest area and the slight chop on the water made it tough but I enjoyed it and was grateful for the wonderful support from other competitors and spectators around the course, it was a lot of fun. Now I can continue my build up for the big one, the national age group champs at the Auckland ITU race weekend in a month’s time.”